Cartel cell with links to Cártel de Sinaloa and Cártel del Noreste
Los Santos, San Andreas - June 15th, 2019
Mexican Transnational Criminal Organizations remain the greatest criminal drug threat to the United States; no other group is currently positioned to challenge them. These TCOs maintain territorial influence over large regions in Mexico used for the cultivation, production, importation, and transportation of illicit drugs.
The Mexican cartels (TCOs) uphold their influence in certain territories sometimes known as "plaza's" in the U.S — primarily along the southern border states such as San Andreas, more specifically Los Santos city — according to the Drug Enforcement Administration's 2019 National Drug Threat Assessment, the clandestine cartel operations continue to expand to nurture their drug market.
The report details alterations in cartel presence in the U.S — most notably the increase of 'Cártel de Sinaloa' presence, which is still considered one of the strongest cartels in Mexico.
Mexican cartel members operating in the US, strive to maintain low visibility and generally refrain from inter-cartel violence so as to avoid law enforcement detection and scrutiny.
Mexican TCOs show clear signs of growth and expansion by their control of lucrative smuggling corridors, primarily across the border regions. Mexican TCOs also export significant quantities of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, marihuana, and possibly fentanyl into the United States annually. Once these illicit drugs are smuggled into the U.S., they are delivered to the highest user markets in the United States through transportation routes and distribution cells that are directly managed or influenced by the Mexican TCOs.
- Over the course of several years, Mexican TCOs have expanded their influence to different regions of the United States. These TCOs are moving to expand their share of the market, especially in opioids and methamphetamine.
- The most significant illicit drug threat posed to the greater Los Santos area is by Mexican TCOs, which dominate the wholesale supply of methamphetamine, cocaine, Mexican or locally grown marihuana, and heroin in the area. At this time there does not appear to be any viable competitors.
- Sinaloa Cartel leaders operating under the wing of Joaquin Guzman Loera, Ismael Zambada Garcia, and Rafael Caro Quintero maintain cell heads in Los Santos, San Andreas to oversee the distribution of illegal drugs in the region. These cell leaders also coordinate the transportation of illicit narcotics from Los Santos to various U.S. cities where cartel operatives are responsible for receiving and distributing the shipments through a network of middle men usually linked to prison gangs.
Los Mirlos—Los Coroneles, "La Unión"
La Unión is a T.C.O. (Transnational Criminal Organization) based in the state of San Andreas with its command and control structure suspected to radicate in different border areas of Mexico and U.S.A.
US-based Mexican (transnational criminal organization) members generally coordinate the transportation and distribution of bulk wholesale quantities of illicit drugs to U.S. markets, while retail-level distribution is mainly handled by smaller local groups and street gangs not directly affiliated with the Mexican TCOs.
The name is a reference to an ambitious business plan that aims to combine the supply lines of Cártel de Sinaloa, Cártel del Noreste and others through the merging of different crime cells within the state.
Joaquin Parejo made his mark during his tenure as an enforcer in the Zetas Vieja Escuela cell operating at Las Colinas district from Los Santos as their primary plaza from which they would control different drug markets — shortly after the organization's exit from Los Zetas, Oscar "El Sapo" Villanueva, former federal de caminos officer made his entry into the organization with an order to wrest it back under Zeta control.
Parejo and Villanueva's original partnership resulted in the rise of Los Mirlos, a crew within the Las Colinas organization acting as their intelligence branch — the appearance of the crew sparked internal tensions, leading to the group's independence amidst the turmoil.
Parejo and Villanueva's exit from the organization marks the end of Los Mirlos and the end of the Las Colinas organization followed shortly after.
Pedro Coronel is the founding figure of Los Coroneles, a Sinaloa Cartel cell with reports of operations in Arizona, Nevada, Baja California and now in San Andreas. The leadership of the group is suspected to involve high ranking members of the Border Brothers prison gang who became official members of the cartel.
The Coroneles operate from within and out of the prison system and on both sides of the U.S. - Mexican border with presence in cities like Tijuana Mexico.
It is believed that they report directly to Grupo Panteras from La Comisión del Pacífico Norte, the latter being a conglomerate of traffickers in the Mexican states of Sinaloa, Sonora, Durango, Baja California, Chihuahua and now also suspected to have influence in Nuevo León, Tamaulipas and Zacatecas through La Unión.
Other reports indicate that La Comisión del Pacífico Norte was also in business with the Casas family from Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua circa 2018.